At 5:15 a.m. Tuesday morning in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, Johnny Pizarro was working on the “Law & Order: Organized Crime” team. Pizarro, who was part of the security and parking services, was approached by a suspect who opened his car door and shot and killed him. Following the murder of Pizarro, Variety spoke to several friends and community members near the crime scene, many of whom were shaken by the sudden outburst of violence.
Cisco, a colleague of Pizarro who says he has known him since college, was shocked by the incident. He said Pizarro was dedicated to the six children he was raising in Ridgewood, Queens.
“He was a good guy, not a troublemaker,” Cisco said. “It’s the safest neighborhood of the five boroughs. New York City is unpredictable.
Although the production was canceled for the day and pedestrians were kept away from the crime scene, several people who said they were part of Pizarro’s inner circle remained nearby, shocked at how a crime like this could happen in their neighborhood and speculating on the motive.
As officers moved in and out of the scene, in which Pizarro’s still running car was surrounded by warning tape, many bystanders, who did not want to use their names for fear of reprisals, criticized the ‘investigation.
“They want to know what’s going on?” We I wanna know what’s going on!” one said, with another offering, “These cops are assholes, man.”
As with any neighborhood incident, speaking with residents sparked many unsubstantiated rumors as to the shooter’s motive and issues that may have sparked the violence.
Many residents noted that they viewed their neighborhood as peaceful, even idyllic in an urban manner, prior to the murder. However, a local business owner said he was disappointed to set up a store in a part of town he now has to reconsider his safety in.
To help heal some of the anxiety of the day, Church of Christ in Greenpoint, a congregation just a few doors down from the shooting, opened its doors for the day for counseling and prayers.
By late Tuesday afternoon, passers-by had begun laying candles at the Pizarro memorial site.
This piece of Greenpoint has made frequent appearances in movies and shows. In addition to “Law & Order: Organized Crime,” neighbors also recall recent filmings such as “FBI,” “FBI: Most Wanted,” “FBI: International,” and “Blue Bloods” nearby.
A community member, who asked to remain anonymous, said crews sometimes exhaust their welcome with locals by occupying parking spots in the neighborhood for days at a time.
A member of the ‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ team, who also wished to remain anonymous, said: “No one has taken care of this. It’s devastating.
Fabien Levy, press secretary for New York City Mayor Eric Adams, shared a statement with Variety about the incident.
“The safety of all New Yorkers is our top priority. No shooting is acceptable, which is why we work every day to remove illegal weapons from the streets of New York City,” the statement read. “The NYPD is actively investigating the shooting death of a ‘Law and Order: Organized Crime’ crew member early this morning. We offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the victim during this difficult time, and we will work diligently to bring the suspect to justice and stem the tide of gun violence we are seeing.
Additional photos taken by Variety on locations are below.
Additional reporting by Jordan Moreau and Jazz Tangcay.